The Zombie Apocalypse of Republican Health Care Proposals

Newark  I don’t really watch these “living dead” zombie shows, but I’m starting to get the picture by following the various Republican proposals to “repeal and replace” the Obama Affordable Care Act. Here’s my question though? In the movies and television shows are each generation of zombies more disgusting and worse than the ones that came before them?

Certainly that is the case with the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill to take one more shot at this for the right wing before they would have to obtain more than a simple majority of Senators to push these horrors onto the American people. September 30th is the “expire by date” on the Republicans ability to make mischief with 50 votes, rather than having to go bipartisan with a super-majority.

Let’s look at this version of the healthcare apocalypse though.

A spokesperson for Kaiser Healthcare said it was almost impossible to imagine a bill so bad that it hurt even more people and that had less support from anyone.

Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, AARP, and other insurers, who have been largely silent in earlier versions of the bill, have all mobilized to oppose this version because they argue it will wreck havoc with insurance markets by destroying a national system and making it a state by state battleground.

Thirty-six states will immediately get less money from the Graham-Cassidy bill, if it succeeds. The pain will be especially pronounced in some of the blue states like New York, California, and Oregon, and generally in those states that expanded Medicaid for their citizens, but even the fourteen states that might see themselves as “winners,” have to understand it’s only temporary. By the 2020s part of the impact of this bill is not the simple devolution of healthcare responsibilities and the money that pays for them from the federales to the states, but a cutting of Medicaid dollars period, which will create a huge hole in state budgets everywhere and reduce many red states in the South to the healthcare delivery standards of third-world nations.

Economists argue that even the sponsors of the bill don’t seem to have a clear idea what’s in the language. For example, Cassidy and Graham have claimed it continues to protect those with preexisting conditions, but reading the bill it’s just not in there.

There is no cost estimate on the bill from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office nor is there a score on how many will lose coverage under this bill. The best estimate is that 30 million will be pushed off of insurance.

So, why are we worrying that this zombie may end up ruling our world, rather than having a stake driven through its heart? God knows, but it seems to be just a case of politics divorced from the impact of health and harm to the public. The Republicans are so desperate to fulfill an absurd promise that they willing to pretend a mangy dog is Lassie on the way to save you.

If there’s something you can do, do it now, before this zombie stalks the land and leaves million dead or dying.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Is a DACA Deal for Real or Fake News?

New Orleans   Is this a dream or are the DREAMers about to be protected?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after dinner with the President announced that they have an agreement to protect the DREAMers in exchange for some more border and security protections, not including the Trump Wall. This didn’t come from the White House, though the White House did agree that there were productive discussions. Anti-immigrant legislators are begging for details in fear that Trump may have not done enough for the border. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan reportedly in meeting with Representative Pelosi agreed that the DREAMers had to be protected as well.

Is this a trial balloon to allow the haters to organize or is this the real thing, just as other stories were filling up the papers indicating that DACA was last on the list for Congress, and there was no way they would meet the 6-month deadline? Is this President Trump confounding the pundits once again by making a deal while singing Britney Spears’ hit song, “hit me one more time?” With no details available, is this really a deal or is this fake news?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, President Trump reaching across the aisle to make deals is the smartest thing he’s done since orchestrating his own improbable victory in winning the presidency. If he continues to demonstrate that he can produce victories with bipartisan support and wrong-footing his detractors on the left and and on the right, while allowing his secretaries to bleed Obama reforms out through the regulatory process in one department after another from the environment to education, the threat level his presidency poses goes to another level.

Will this hurt him with his 35-40% base? Heck, no! He’s proven over and over again that he can sell them manure and claim its perfume. The far right, anti-immigrant caucus, Attorney General Sessions, former Sheriff Arpaio, Steve Bannon, and the like will be unhappy and bitter, but they are marginal, and, give the devil his due, Trump knows he can make a deal on DACA, throw some crumbs their way, and keep stepping. They have no threat of exit, so they are stuck with him.

Just like we are.

We have no real alternative that has emerged thus far. There is speculation on a 3rd party emerging in a split within the Republican camp, but not among the Democratic forces. The ambitious are trying to position themselves early, but progressive are united in opposition, but not on the direction forward.

Meanwhile we are grasping at straws hoping for anything that even looks like a deal without any understanding of what it might cost us.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail